My backlog has been steadily shrinking over the past year, gaining +28 Memory Card, which breaks my +24 record from last year. Whether I'll ever reach the end of my backlog is something that is still uncertain, but this year was another step in the good direction.
Oh, and if you were wondering, I thought my output this year was pretty good as well. I'm especially to speak about Hexaria and Box Kickers X. This year was also the first in which I made mobile games, with Picross Pushers and jumpNULL being made available on the Google Play Store.
Without further ado: the list!
Console and handheld games:
Etrian Oddesy Untold
More dungeons to explore, more maps to draw. This remake of the first Etrian Oddesy was an excellent opportunity to explore the series' roots. Although I feel EO4 is more refined, EOU still is an excellent dungeon explorer, the addition of a interesting story is very welcome, and you visit a wide variety of areas filled to the brims with monsters. The music is also very good, and the choice between the original FM soundtrack and the new orchestral one is a very welcome one.
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure
I warned you about oddball picks. This a silly platformer on the top screen of the DS, combined with a Bejeweled-clone on the bottom one. The two 'worlds' interact in very interesting ways, not to mention that the game is pretty difficult.
Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
I played both this one and Azran Legacy this year, and I must say this one is my favorite of the two. The more puzzle booklet-like Daily Puzzles is quite genius and contains tons of cool puzzle types, and the story is as top-notch as ever. The translation to 3D is questionable at first, but you get used to it after a while.
This little puzzle game managed to come from HAL Laboratories from which I've been a long-time fan for their Kirby games. This game has a similar charm. Most of the game is pretty easy: I feel this is more a game about the smartness of game mechanics than it is about puzzles (which somewhat mirrors my feelings for the Kirby series, especially it's spinoffs).. The bonus levels are pretty hard though, and there is some bonus content available as distractions from the main game.
Persona 4 Golden
As far as gameplay goes, the game is very bland with boring dungeons and annoying battles, but the story is absolutely top notch as well as the presentation and music, so good, that for this reason alone it deserves a spot on my list. Every single member of the cast is memorable, top-notch voice acted and rarely tropey.
Virtue's Last Reward
This game is the only game that I've been addicted to this year. For five days straight, the only thing I could think was its plot and its puzzles. The games' story is a branching plot, so you can explore various outcomes of the story and use your multiuniversal knowledge to find an ending where everyone survives. The puzzles themselves are a good mix of point-and-click with Layton-style puzzles, and is made very accesable with the Easy mode where hints are given when the player gets stuck.
Gunman Clive HD Collection
A compilation of two Mega Man-style games released on 3DS in the past years. The first game feels pretty solid and is a quite fun platformer, but the most genius moments are found in the sequel, with tons of cool intermezzo levels and top-notch music. Not to forget the genius 'secret character', which requires you to play each level pacifisticly, is a nice addition as you can finish the game with four distinctively playing characters.
Best multiplayer game of the year. While I haven't got nine people to play Runbow yet, with 5 of them the game already becomes mighty hectic and crazy. Besides it four-mode multiplayer offering, it also includes a nice single player mode and contains many indie guest stars.
Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube
This is a first-person puzzle game. Imagine Minecraft, but you are only able to attack blocks yourself to special platforms. With various kinds of blocks, you'll have your grey matter running at top speed in no time. The game is very relaxing- the puzzles themselves play out in temples floating above the sky, and each world changes the atmosphere and adds a puzzle element. I still need to return to it: in the meanwhile it has added a level editor and a level portal, something I still want to check out.
Sonic has always been a weird beast, and the same can be said about it's fanbase. Freedom Planet started off as a Sonic fangame, but it's creators decided to ditch the blue hedgehog and replace it with a purple dragon. And it's work shows: it is a throwback to the classic Sonic games, with tons of quality of life improvements to become even better than Sonic. A sequel has been announced just a few days ago, and I'll be looking forward to it.
Deponia & Chaos on Deponia
Beautifully drawn point and click games, where you play antihero Rufus, who get stuck in all sorts of weird situations that you need to click yourself out of. Rufus's narcissism is an excellent source of jokes, as well as the odd quests and puzzles you'll get. The puzzles are hard, though, but the interface is one of the best I've seen in a point-and-click so it doesn't become annoying. I hope to play Goodbye Deponia soon to see how the trilogy ends.
I am a fan of Mother 3, which I think might be one of my favorite RPGs. Undertale strongly reminded me of it. After finding out it's creator had also has been collaborating on Homestuck (which I've also 'read' in it's entirety in the past year), I was sold. It is a good mix of Mother 3, Homestuck, and indie. Whatever you can say about this game, it is a fact that the soundtrack, featuring 100 tracks, is extremely good. How strong this game plays on your emotions is almost magical. The fact that I haven't been able yet to do a Genocide run yet is proof of this.
One Way Heroics
The first rougelike I've played that I can enjoy. It can be quite punishing, oh yes, but allows for much better difficulty control than a normal rougelike would. You are chased by a black void that is swallowing the world, so you must keep up to prevent the darkness from swallowing you. The music and interface as by far the best things about this game, and offers several classes and other settings to customize play to your style and skill. I still need to spend more time with this game, also because it has DLC available that is said to double the game's content.
To Be or Not To Be
I have been a fan of Ryan North's Dinosaur Comics, which I think is hilarious. I grabbed this opportunity to read Hamlet without actually diving into Shakespears /boring/ version. Finding out all the ways to die has never been as fun as this, and as each death actually awards you with artwork for your collection, you search every nook and cranny in the plot to find a way towards new story lines.
I thought Bastion was pretty good, but Transistor is just art. Bastion and Transistor are mechanically quite similar, but Trans improves almost every aspect of Bastion. It puts the focus more on turn-based battling, although real-time battles are also still a part of the equation. The flow of battle is interrupted by the skill selection screen, where you can mix and match at your hearts content, and test it out during the next battle to see how effective your setup is. The Limiters allow for the best difficulty selection in a game I've seen to date, allowing you to gain extra EXP by making certain things in the game more annoying. The atmosphere in Cloudbank is nothing short of amazing, with the voicework, news terminals, and awesome music.
Special mentions: Sokobond, Aquaria, Splatoon, Wonderful 101, 100% Orange Juice.
Looking forward to this year: Fire Emblem IF/Fates, EO2 and EO5 (really depends on how much RPGs I want to have on my backlog), Rhythm Paradise 3DS (hasn't been announced yet but I sure hope it makes it here!), Picross 3D 2 (idem, get it to Europe ASAP!)